Lord Mayor ‘kow­tows to China with Taiwan ban’

Daily Mail - - Life -

As THE po­lit­i­cal furore en­gulfs No10 over the re­ported de­ci­sion to in­volve Huawei in the con­struc­tion of Bri­tain’s new 5G net­work, the Lord Mayor of Lon­don has been ac­cused of kow­tow­ing to China.

For I can dis­close that cur­rent in­cum­bent Peter Estlin is em­broiled in a con­tro­versy af­ter the or­gan­is­ers of this year’s spec­tac­u­lar Lord Mayor’s show ex­cluded Taiwan from the an­nual pro­ces­sion of floats from around the world.

Estlin, 57, is a Bar­clays ex­ec­u­tive who used to work for salomon Broth­ers Asia. His year in of­fice was in­au­gu­rated by the 2018 show.

Proudly in­de­pen­dent of Com­mu­nist main­land China, Taiwan has had a float for years, ac­cord­ing to Lib Dem peer Baroness Barker.

she al­leges the ban is to ap­pease China, which does not recog­nise Taiwan as a sov­er­eign coun­try, and claims it as part of its ter­ri­tory.

‘The Chi­nese have put pres­sure — as they do in all sorts of dif­fer­ent ways — on the Lord Mayor’s of­fice,’ she tells me.

‘so this time the Lord Mayor’s of­fice has de­clined Taiwan’s ap­pli­ca­tion to par­tic­i­pate.

‘It’s all part of the cam­paign by the Chi­nese govern­ment to di­min­ish recog­ni­tion of Taiwan.’

This sud­den al­lergy to Taiwan co­in­cides with the Govern­ment’s new­found ap­petite for do­ing busi­ness with China. On Wed­nes­day Gavin Wil­liamson was fired as De­fence sec­re­tary for al­legedly leak­ing de­tails about the de­ci­sion to in­volve Chi­nese con­trac­tor Huawei in the new mo­bile net­work.

A spokesman for the Lord Mayor’s show Lim­ited de­clines to say why Taiwan’s ap­pli­ca­tion has been rejected, nor whether the de­ci­sion was taken by Estlin.

Me­mo­ri­alised in paint­ings by Canaletto and Hog­a­rth, and orig­i­nat­ing 800 years ago, the Lord Mayor’s show is the long­est and, it is claimed, ‘the most splen­did’ civic pro­ces­sion on Earth fea­tur­ing a kalei­do­scope of floats, as well as the 250yearold state Coach.

De­scrib­ing the three­mile long pro­ces­sion through the City of Lon­don in Novem­ber as ‘a fam­i­ly­ori­en­tated day out, aimed at wel­com­ing the new Lord Mayor into of­fice’, the spokesman says: ‘It is not a po­lit­i­cal event.’

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